Bremerton doctor arrested on rape charges; 15 more women step forward

BREMERTON, Wash. — A Bremerton doctor sexually assaulted at least two women in the examination room at his office telling one woman it was “therapeutic,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

Kitsap County prosecutors say that since KIRO 7 broke the story, 15 more women have come forward accusing Bremerton doctor Darren Chotiner of unwanted sexual contact during examinations in his clinic.

“Making inappropriate comments or advances to them during exams, all the way up to allegations of indecent liberties and to rape,” said Bremerton police Detective Sergeant Kevin Crane.

Chotiner, 46, was taken into custody on Wednesday when his bail increased from $50,000 to $250,000.

He appeared in court on charges that he raped female patients at his Bremerton clinic during visits last spring and in October.

Chotiner was arrested Tuesday after two women came forward to tell police he had groped, fondled and raped them after they went to him complaining of back pain.

According to a probable cause affidavit, one woman said Chotiner told her the sexual contact was therapeutic massage.

Some of Chotiner’s patients were surprised by the accusations.

“Oh wow,” said Janele Smith as she left Peninsula Community Health Services office in east Bremerton where Chotiner practiced.

Smith said she never had a problem with Chotiner.

“I think he’s a great doctor,” she said.

“It totally shocked me,” said another patient, Peggy McCaslan.

Chotiner's wife left court without speaking to reporters.

Since the story first broke, prosecutors said women have contacted police accusing Chotiner of a wide range of possible sex crimes.

His license to practice medicine was suspended Tuesday by the Washington State Department of Health’s Medical Quality Assurance Commission.

Want to talk about the news of the day? Watch free streaming video on the KIRO 7 mobile app and iPad app, and join us here on Facebook.